Blossoms in the Dust: Saturn in Leo

Greetings, and welcome back once again to journeys! My first offering for 2017 is an article on Saturn in Leo. If you enjoy this post and would like to contribute to further work this year, please consider donating through Patreon.


Death the Leveller
by James Shirley

The glories of our blood and state
Are shadows, not substantial things;
There is no armour against Fate;
Death lays his icy hand on kings:
Sceptre and Crown
Must tumble down,
And in the dust be equal made
With the poor crookèd scythe and spade.

Some men with swords may reap the field,
And plant fresh laurels where they kill:
But their strong nerves at last must yield;
They tame but one another still:
Early or late
They stoop to fate,
And must give up their murmuring breath
When they, pale captives, creep to death.

The garlands wither on your brow;
Then boast no more your mighty deeds;
Upon Death’s purple altar now
See where the victor-victim bleeds.
Your heads must come
To the cold tomb:
Only the actions of the just
Smell sweet and blossom in their dust...

Dedicated to Mrs King
who taught me to love poetry
and encouraged my love of the creative power of words

In previous articles I have discussed the meaning and significance of Saturn in Cancer and Saturn in Scorpio. There is also an article on Saturn in Sagittarius (which I intend at a future point to update). I’ve also written a piece on Saturn in general, one on collective astrology which looks at Saturn cycles, and an article discussing Pluto in Leo. These six articles may help you to place this article in a wider context. The quote below is taken from my writings on collective astrology and relates to the nature of the Saturn cycle in general:

“The Saturn cycles are connected with cause and effect in terms of generational impacts – with how we as a people enact our awareness of natural universal laws. They govern the limitations which seem to restrict or deny communion between generations, the rigid structures or traditions that define them. Every generation likes to represent itself as an authority on something, and the Saturn cycles are connected with how that plays out.

The Saturn macro cycle is what truly separates us, one generation to the next. The gulf of experience opens its maw wide every 30 years, leading to a seeming abyss between older and younger groups of us. It is an illusion of time, a conjuration of world weariness, but a potent one. There is effort and work to be done in bridging this gap – think of a first talk between a 15 and 45 year old person – but as is the way with subterranean Saturn and his crushing pressures, there are diamonds in this coal. It will take time and effort to mine, but once fashioned it long outlasts us. This cycle is all about major efforts we can make together that span decades. Once consciously engaged it also empowers us in the mass clearing of human karma. The macro cycle divides into quarters of about 7-7.5 years each, one for each of the 4 Elements, and its how a generation (and its individuals) handles its karma and what it understands from any failures at these times that determines the effect it will experience at the next quarter.

The micro cycle of Saturn in the 12 signs opens a 2.5 year window into which individual souls are incarnated by the Greater Selves as part of a specific thread in the Great Work. This thread re-emerges in a new form every 28-30 yrs (i.e. as part of the macro cycle) and in human terms is related to the karmic consequences that are necessary for human awareness as a whole to comprehend its own nature and ultimately to be its own conscious architect. Within the micro cycle, Saturn is busy building and preserving ancient and customary ways against the ravages of time, it is a preservative factor in generational astrology that can allow us to transmit wisdom through the ages. It mimics the generational effect of the macro cycle (which we experience most often with our parents and grandparents) on a personal scale, so that we can feel that distance and gap with people who are our nearer our own age. For example, the Saturn in Taurus generation will have a difficult time integrating its own experience and understanding of life with that of anyone born under Saturn in Leo, Aquarius or Scorpio, signs which square or oppose Taurus, and this difficulty will be strangely like the difficulty we have relating to our own parents or grandparents way of looking at life – if we can just get out of our own limiting way, it can permanently open things up for us. On the other hand, those with Saturn in an Earth sign (Taurus, Virgo or Capricorn) can help us to build what we each came to build, like a far less stern and authoritative parent or grandparent, but this means the core lessons we need to understand will come more slowly and stealthily. This kind of co-operative effort will still require effort and patience, but in strange ways, time itself will be on our side.”


My aim in this article is to throw some light upon this specific thread of the Great Work, but I humbly ask you to remember that I’m not attempting to explain it all. My intention in writing these kinds of articles is to help specific groups to identify within themselves the essence of the pattern I am describing by throwing lots of words and connections at them, data points which I hope will act as signposts pointing them in the direction of something they already have within them.

Here is the modern piece of this pattern:

Generations of Saturn in Leo (1900-2100)

• 17th October 1916 – 12th August 1919 (not including 7th December 1916 – 24th June 1917)
• 2nd August 1946 – 29th May 1949 (not including 19th September 1948 – 3rd April 1949)
• 17th September 1975 – 26th July 1978 (not including 14th January – 5th June 1976 or 17th November 1977 – 5th January 1978)
• 16th July 2005 – 2nd September 2007
• 27th August 2034 – 7th July 2037 (not including 15th February – 11th May 2035 or 16th October 2036 – 11th February 2037)
• 28th June 2064 – 16th August 2066
• 9th August 2093 – 12th June 2096 (not including 26th September 2095 – 14th March 2096)

Here are some of the events from history occurring in these periods that resonate with Saturn in Leo:

1916 – 1919: Kingdom of Poland (1916–18) is proclaimed by a joint act of the emperors of Germany and Austria; Honan Chapel, Cork, Ireland, a product of the Irish Arts and Crafts movement, is dedicated; U.S. presidential election Democratic President Woodrow Wilson narrowly defeats Republican Charles E. Hughes; Radio station 2XG, located in the Highbridge section of New York City, makes the first audio broadcast of presidential election returns; writer Jack London dies of kidney failure at his California home aged 40; hospital ship HMHS Britannic sinks in Aegean Sea after hitting a mine (she is the largest ship lost during the war); first Cottingley Fairies photographs taken in Yorkshire, England, apparently depicting fairies (a hoax not admitted by the child creators until 1981); the Lions Clubs International is formed in the United States; King George V of the United Kingdom issues a proclamation stating that thenceforth the male line descendants of the British Royal Family will bear the surname Windsor; the Great Thessaloniki Fire of 1917 in Greece destroys 32% of the city, leaving 70,000 individuals homeless; the city of Cloquet, Minnesota, and nearby areas are destroyed in a fire, killing 453; volcano Kelud erupts in Java, killing about 5,000; Leon Trotsky is elected Chairman of the Petrograd Soviet; October Revolution in Russia – the workers of the Petrograd Soviet in Russia, led by the Bolshevik Party and leader Vladimir Lenin, storm the Winter Palace and successfully destroy the Kerensky Provisional Government after less than eight months of rule; execution of the Romanov family by order of the Bolshevik Party; Battle of Bear Valley in Arizona (one of the last battles of the American Indian Wars between the United States and American Indians); the Finnish Civil War; the 1918 flu pandemic (an unusually deadly influenza pandemic, the first of the two pandemics involving H1N1 influenza virus, it infected 500 million people across the world, including remote Pacific islands and the Arctic, and resulted in the deaths of 50 to 100 million – 3 to 5% of the world’s population -, making it one of the deadliest natural disasters in human history); representation of the People Act gives most women over 30 in UK the vote; the United States Congress approves the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which would guarantee suffrage to women, and sends it to the U.S. states for ratification; Russia switches from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar – the date skips from February 1 to February 14; the United States Congress establishes time zones and approves daylight saving time; the first pilot-less drone, the Hewitt-Sperry Automatic Airplane developed by Elmer Sperry and Peter Cooper Hewitt, is test-flown in Long Island, New York; Moscow becomes the capital of Soviet Russia; chung_ling_sooin London at the Wood Green Empire, Chung Ling Soo (William E. Robinson, U.S.-born magician) dies during his trick where he is supposed to “catch” two separate bullets – but one of them perforates his lung and he dies the following morning in a hospital; death and funeral of Theodore Roosevelt; French composer Claude Debussy dies; Manfred von Richthofen, “The Red Baron”, the war’s most successful fighter pilot, dies in combat at Morlancourt Ridge near the Somme River; Dr. Marie Stopes publishes her influential book ‘Married Love’ in the U.K.; the brightest nova observed since Kepler’s of 1604 is discovered; first airplane bombing raid by an American unit in France; British battleship HMS Britannia is sunk by a German submarine off Trafalgar with the loss of around fifty lives, the last major naval engagement of WWI; end of WWI and Armistice with Germany; Prince Frederick Charles of Hesse renounces the Finnish throne; Austria, Finland and Czechoslovakia become republics; President Woodrow Wilson departs by ship to the Paris Peace Conference, becoming the first United States President to travel to any foreign country while holding office; Prohibition in the US is ratified; Save the Children Fund is created in the UK; in Germany the Weimar Constitution is ratified and the Bauhaus architectural and design movement is founded in Weimar; the first transatlantic flight; Einstein’s theory of general relativity is tested and confirmed by observation of the “bending of light” during a total solar eclipse; Nobel prizes awarded for discovery of the radiation of the elements and discovery of energy quanta (physics), for the synthesis of ammonia from its elements (chemistry), “varied and rich poetry, which is inspired by lofty ideals” and “significance as the leading representative of a new era” (literature).

1946 – 1949: United States Atomic Energy Commission established; first ever Formula 1 race; National Basketball Association (NBA) created; the stock car racing organization NASCAR is founded; the Hells Angels motorcycle gang is founded; Bulgaria is declared a People’s Republic after a referendum (King Simeon II leaves); the Federal Republic of Germany is established; France adopts the constitution of the Fourth Republic; India and Pakistan gain independence and select their first Prime Ministers; the Constitution of the Italian Republic goes into effect; Mensa is founded; International Organization for Standardization (ISO) founded; the United Nations’ first meeting in Long Island is held; UNESCO established; UNICEF (the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund) is founded; South Pacific Commission (SPC) founded; the International Monetary Fund begins to operate; the World Health Organization is established; the RAND Corporation is established; the Doomsday Clock of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists is introduced; Sweden’s Prime Minister Per Albin Hansson dies in office of a heart attack; Laurence Olivier’s film version of ‘Hamlet’ makes its world premiere; Frank Capra’s ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ is released in New York; ‘Miracle on 34th Street’ is first shown in theaters; Rodgers and Hammerstein’s ‘South Pacific’ opens on Broadway and goes on to become R&H’s second longest-running musical; the House Un-American Activities Committee concerning allegations of communist influences in the movie business gets underway; the first artificial, self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction in Europe; President Harry S. Truman delivers Proclamation 2714, which officially ends hostilities in World War II; worst snowfall in the UK in the 20th century with extensive disruption of travel; heavy blizzard in Canada buries towns; the lowest air temperature in North America (-63 degrees Celsius) is recorded in the Yukon Territory; British coal mines are nationalised; proceedings of the United States Congress are televised for the first time; the “Black Dahlia” murder (unsolved); the ‘Diary of a Young Girl’ by Anne Frank is published for the first time; a Philippine plane crashes in Hong Kong with $5 million worth of gold; Mahatma Gandhi begins his fast-unto-death in Delhi; Al Capone dies; Babe Ruth dies in his sleep at the age of 53; portrait_gandhiassassination of Mahatma Gandhi; discovery of the ‘Dead Sea Scrolls’ in the Qumran Caves (above the northwest shore of the Dead Sea) by Bedouin shepherds; the largest recorded sunspot group appears on the solar surface; Texas City disaster (the ammonium nitrate cargo of French-registered Liberty ship SS Grandcamp explodes in Texas City, killing at least 581, including all but one member of the city fire department, injuring at least 5,000 and destroying 20 city blocks. Of the dead, remains of 113 are never found and 63 are unidentifiable); the British Royal Navy detonates 6,800 tons of explosives in an attempt to demolish the fortified island of Heligoland, Germany, thus creating one of the largest man-made non-nuclear explosions in history; the AK-47 assault rifle enters production, becoming the most produced gun in history; American financier and presidential adviser Bernard Baruch describes the post–World War II tensions between the Soviet Union and the United States as a “Cold War”; Kenneth Arnold makes the first widely reported UFO sighting near Mount Rainier, Washington; Seaman Harold Dahl claims to have seen six unidentified flying objects near Maury Island in Puget Sound, Washington and on the next morning Dahl reports the first modern so-called “Men in Black” encounter; a supposedly downed extraterrestrial spacecraft is reportedly found in the Roswell UFO incidentroswell-daily-record-july-8-1947; Kentucky Air National Guard pilot Thomas Mantell crashes while in pursuit of a supposed UFO; the U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations is founded; President Harry S. Truman signs the Presidential Succession Act into law, which places the Speaker of the House and the President pro tempore of the Senate next in the line of succession after the Vice President; U.S. President Harry S. Truman signs the National Security Act of 1947 into law, creating the Central Intelligence Agency, the Department of Defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the National Security Council; after being shut down on November 9, 1946, for a refurbishment, the ENIAC computer, the world’s first electronic digital computer, is turned back on again; a moth lodged in a relay is found to be the cause of a malfunction in the Harvard Mark II electromechanical computer, logged as “First actual case of bug being found.”; first recorded use of the word computer in its modern sense, referring to an electronic digital machine; President Harry S. Truman delivers the first televised White House address speaking on the world food crises; the American Broadcasting Company (otherwise known as ABC) begins television services; the first practical electronic transistor is demonstrated; Raytheon produces the first commercial microwave oven; the Palomar Observatory telescope is finished; the first monkey astronaut, Albert I, is launched into space; the National Health Service Acts are enacted in United Kingdom; U.S. President Truman signs Executive Order 9981, ending racial segregation in the United States Armed Forces; Nobel prizes awarded for ‘the invention of an apparatus to produce extremely high pressures and discoveries in the field of high pressure physics’ and ‘investigations of the physics of the upper atmosphere’ (physics), for the discovery that enzymes can be crystallized and on plant alkaloids (chemistry), the discovery of the production of mutations by means of X-ray irradiation and discovery of the course of the catalytic conversion of glycogen (physiology and medicine) “inspired writings which, while growing in boldness and penetration, exemplify the classical humanitarian ideals and high qualities of style” and “comprehensive and artistically significant writings, in which human problems and conditions have been presented with a fearless love of truth and keen psychological insight” (literature).

1975 – 1978: The first people to reach the summit of Mount Everest by any of its faces; the Cincinnati Reds defeat the Boston Red Sox to cap off what many consider to be the best World Series game ever played; cricketer Ian Botham becomes the first man in the history of the game to score a century and take 8 wickets in 1 inning of a Test match; NBC airs the first episode of ‘Saturday Night Live’; cult classic movie ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show’ is released; Microsoft becomes a registered trademark; Apple Computer is incorporated; the first Apple II series computers go on sale; Atari, Inc. releases its Video Computer System; optical fiber is first used to carry live telephone traffic; the Cray-1, the first commercially developed supercomputer, is released; the first computer bulletin board system (CBBS) is created; Laos becomes a republic; Trinidad and Tobago becomes a republic; the 1916 wreck of HMHS Britannic is found; great heat wave in the United Kingdom; the first outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease; the last naturally occurring case of smallpox is diagnosed and treated; the first known outbreak of Ebola virus; United States Senate hearings on Project MKUltra are held; the Petrozavodsk phenomenon is observed in the Soviet Union and some northern European countries (weird aerial phenomena); Anglia Television broadcasts the fake documentary Alternative 3, which enters into the conspiracy theory canon; Voyager 1 and 2 launched; NASA releases the famous Face on Mars photo, taken by Viking 1; the Viking 2 spacecraft lands at Utopia Planitia on Mars, taking the first close-up color photos of the planet’s surface; Big Ben suffers internal damage and stops running for over 9 months; Mao Zedong, Chairman of the Communist Party of China, dies of a heart attack; legendary guitarist Freddie King dies; agatha_christieAgatha Christie dies; Elvis Presley, the “king of rock and roll”, dies; Groucho Marx, comedic legend, star of stage and screen, dies; Steve Biko murdered; Marc Bolan dies in a car crash; Bing Crosby, one of the most popular, far-reaching and influential entertainers of all time, dies; Charlie Chaplin’s remains are stolen (the body was ghoulishly held for ransom in an attempt to extort money); ‘The Muppet Show’ is broadcast for the first time; ‘Dallas’ debuted on CBS and gave birth to the modern day primetime soap opera; Stevie Wonder releases his hit album ‘Songs in the Key of Life’; the Bee Gees release the soundtrack to ‘Saturday Night Fever’, which will go on to become the then best selling album of all time; ‘Grease’, starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John is released; the ‘Sex Pistols’ achieve public notoriety; ‘Roots’ begins its phenomenally successful run on ABC; ‘Garfield’, which eventually becomes the world’s most widely syndicated comic strip, makes its debut; Prog 1 of 2000 AD is launched (it soon features the iconic Saturnine ‘hero’ Judge Dredd); George Lucas’ ‘Star Wars’ opens in cinemas and later becomes the historic highest-grossing film for that time; the Chimpanzee is placed on the list of endangered species; the first megamouth shark is discovered off Oahu in Hawaii; Jimmy Carter defeats incumbent Us President Gerald Ford, becoming the first candidate from the Deep South to win since the Civil War; the term memetics is first proposed; scientists report using bacteria in a lab to make insulin via gene splicing; the New York City blackout of 1977 lasts for 25 hours, resulting in looting and other disorder; creation of the United States Department of Energy; Chiron, first of the outer Solar System asteroids known as Centaurs, is discovered; United States Senate proceedings are broadcast on radio for the first time; Regular radio broadcasts of British Parliament proceedings start; the People’s Republic of China lifts a ban on works by Aristotle, William Shakespeare and Charles Dickens; electrical workers in Mexico City find the remains of the Great Pyramid of Tenochtitlan in the middle of the city; gay-1453594_1920the rainbow flag of the LGBT movement flies for the first time (in its original form) at the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade; Louise Brown, the world’s first test tube baby, is born; Nobel prizes awarded for “the discovery of the connection between collective motion and particle motion in atomic nuclei and the development of the theory of the structure of the atomic nucleus” and “pioneering work in the discovery of a heavy elementary particle of a new kind” (physics), for the “stereochemistry of enzyme-catalyzed reactions” and “for studies on the structure of boranes illuminating problems of chemical bonding” (chemistry), discoveries concerning the “interaction between tumour viruses and the genetic material of the cell” and discoveries concerning “new mechanisms for the origin and dissemination of infectious diseases” (physiology and medicine) “distinctive poetry which, with great artistic sensitivity, has interpreted human values under the sign of an outlook on life with no illusions” and “the human understanding and subtle analysis of contemporary culture” (literature).

2005 – 2007: Hurricane Katrina makes landfall (this puts a lot of uncomfortable attention onto President Bush); controversial drawings of Muhammad are printed in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, sparking outrage and violent riots by Muslims around the world; North Korea agrees to stop building nuclear weapons in exchange for aid and cooperation; North Korea claims to have conducted its first-ever nuclear test; the trial and execution of Saddam Hussein; Angela Merkel assumes office as the first female Chancellor of Germany; scientists announce that they have created mice with small amounts of human brain cells in an effort to make realistic models of neurological disorders; another second is added, 23:59:60, to end the year 2005; Richard Pryor, Mickey Spillane, studio_publicity_shelley_wintersShelley Winters, Aaron Spelling, Boris Yeltsin, Merv Griffin and Ingmar Bergman die; O’Hare International Airport UFO sighting; Alderney UFO sighting (by a credible pilot); NASA launches the first space mission to Pluto as a rocket hurls the New Horizons spacecraft on a 9-year journey; Gliese 581 c, a potentially Earth-like extrasolar planet habitable for life, is discovered in the constellation Libra; celebrations are held in Salzburg and around the world, for the 250th anniversary of the birth of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart; the United Nations General Assembly votes overwhelmingly to establish the United Nations Human Rights Council; Twitter launched; the Human Genome Project publishes the last chromosome sequence; the International Astronomical Union defines ‘planet’ at its 26th General Assembly, demoting Pluto to the status of ‘dwarf planet’ more than 70 years after its discovery; the Chinese River Dolphin or Baiji (“Goddess of the Yangtze”) becomes functionally extinct; the IPCC publishes its fourth assessment report, having concluded that global climate change is “very likely” to have a predominantly human cause; Live Earth Concerts are held throughout 9 major cities around the world to raise environmental awareness; European heat wave – in the aftermath of Greece’s worst heat wave in a century at least 11 people are reported dead from heatstroke, approximately 200 wildfires break out nationwide, and the country’s electricity grid nearly collapses due to record breaking demand; 2007–2012 global financial crisis begins; Nobel prizes awarded for “contribution to the quantum theory of optical coherence” and “discovery of the blackbody form and anisotropy of the cosmic microwave background radiation” (physics), for the “development of the metathesis method in organic synthesis” and “studies of the molecular basis of eukaryotic transcription” (chemistry), “discovery of the bacterium Helicobacter pylori and its role in gastritis and peptic ulcer disease” and “discovery of RNA interference – gene silencing by double-stranded RNA” (physiology and medicine), art which “uncovers the precipice under everyday prattle and forces entry into oppression’s closed rooms” and “the quest for the melancholic soul of his native city has discovered new symbols for the clash and interlacing of cultures” (literature).


Among the many interesting themes which we see in historical events outlined above are the creation of republics (usually bad news for a monarchy) or alternatively a permanent change in the monarchical structure or rule of society, the creation of major institutions concerned with standards and the power of government, the deaths of major entertainers and people with charisma or popular appeal, restructuring of the way time is measured or problems connected with time and calendar, the development of optical technologies and advances in video and computer science (especially with regards to entertainment and the arts), structural command failures (‘bugs’), in arts/culture and entertainment there is both colourful and lively glamour (glam-rock, musical hit films,  ‘The Muppet Show’, ‘South Pacific’) and a tragic, somber, and serious but often celebratory note (’Hamlet’, ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’, ‘Miracle on 34th Street’, ‘Diary of a Young Girl’, ‘Star Wars’), in general literature or poetry of the time places an emphasis on human values and what is noble in human nature, there is crystallisation of the (now inseparable) integration of media and entertainment technology with politics and government, the outbreak of extremely serious pandemics and strident efforts to control and contain them, destructive fires or explosions often with high pressure, a focus on the protection of children, serious changes in the environment of the living planet, the development of disciplined and established relations between different sovereign nation states and their leaders, understanding of the power structures of life and the harnessing of combustive power and cell structure, scientific progress in comprehending the mysteries of light (Fire is the visual experience of life and all the magic of light) and perhaps most interestingly and surprisingly of all we see the recurrence of famous hoaxes (those photographic faeries that fooled Arthur Conan Doyle) along with enduring dramatic elements and legends (Roswell, M.I.B.s) and credible or classic examples (Alderney, Mantell, Arnold) of UFO phenomenaufo-1673929_1920, and a connection to drones/aerial devices generally as well as gradual advances towards superluminal long distance travel and the visual exploration of our solar system and far distant star systems. These themes among many others are the memes of this tribe, a tribe that gave us memetics itself. A meta-meme seems to relate to the structure and order of life itself in all its manifestations, resonant with the famed phrase ‘The Force will be with you, always’. Saturn in Leo characters are the old monarchs, the King Lears, Obi Wans and Lukes, the last Jedi. They are respected and charismatic standard bearers but often lack access to the vigor and vitality of youthful attitudes.

Note that this clan encompasses people born just after or during the two World Wars – they both officially (a key Saturn word) end during Saturn in Leo, spectacularly in the second case with atomic detonations. This is fitting given that Saturn in Leo often creates dramatic challenges with extracting a sense of unsullied or lasting joy and cheerfulness in life, like a gloomy mushroom cloud obscuring the sunrise. The Saturn in Leo theme is one in which the cohort struggles to smile and take courage from life events, a path in which the souls must learn – over a long period of time – that only by working together can they overcome the persistent sense and experience that there is little to laugh at and no point to life. Once these souls learn how to draw the appropriate lessons from their life experiences they become a power for encouraging humanity to face its failures honourably and with good humour and to accept our responsibilities and limitations with light hearted grace and dignity. When Saturn in Leo fails to draw the appropriate lessons it becomes too rigid, too stuck on the way life should be, too unhappy with reality the way it is and the spirit becomes dull, lacking in charisma because it cannot truly light up. Blockages have arisen in the expression of the individual self, usually by the imposition of inflexible and tyrannical ‘rules’ which have cut it back and limited it beyond recognition.

Make no mistake about their potential though – the sour strictness does not mean that these people are underachievers. This is an ambitious, driven crowd with high and lofty goals and ambitions and a strategic long term plan for getting where they want to be. They have the willpower and solar burn to rise as high as they wish, but it will always be slow and steady and never rash, as they know all too well how shooting stars burn and fade quickly after an incandescent birth. These people want to attain a secured and lasting position.

In terms of the zodiac, Saturn is as a rule complicated by both Cancer and Leo (which place him far away from his own signs and therefore do not suit him). The difficulty for Saturn in the sign of Leo is easier to understand when based on the context of his rulership of Saturn in Aquarius which lies opposite to it in both principle and location. Saturn’s association with Aquarius is resonant with the way the rules should be (whereas his rulership of Capricorn is about the way the rules are and have always been). With Saturn in Aquarius the “way the rules should be” is focused on society and the organisation of human resources. With Saturn in Leo this “way the rules should be” is instead reflected back upon and focused on the individual, the self. This results in an individual expression that is heavily policed and guarded because it is always holding itself up to radiant internal standards. These standards can become fixed in place to the extent where they become rigid structures that confine the expression of the individual rather than support it. This is the dilemma that this tribe has to grapple with in a variety of arenas. They can be helped in dealing with this level of internal stricture by drawing upon the Fire of Leo to warm Saturn up (which has the effect of “melting” some of the rules, often through humour or clowning around or through drama or art and entertainment), or by Saturn being in the chart of someone born during the day while he is above the horizon (which has a similar effect and encourages being in a spotlight to overcome individual self repression). In Leo he takes the first 10°  as his face or decanate (in the Ptolemaic/descending system) and 11-18° as his own (Egyptian, not Ptolemaic) bounds or terms, areas of the sign he has some affinity for and is thereby made more comfortable and influential in. The last decan of the sign is the area that brings him the most discomfort and attracts the most difficulty. This is where he attracts trials to forge willpower into a reality commanding incandescent and unstoppable force, where he distills courage and forges bravery. Through hardship these individuals come to embody the virtues and nobility of Leo. This equates in real terms to the people born in the latter months of the Saturn in Leo periods.


The immediate association that most astrologers make for Saturn in Leo is a fear of the spotlight or of taking the centre stage, and this is indeed something that many of this tribe struggle with, but the logic that this results in few of them being actors or entertainers is a fallacy. The reality is that Saturn in Leo produces entertainers with a lasting popular appeal and from time to time individuals whose art and/or charisma becomes legendary, as the list I provide below shows. Nor could we accurately describe them as shy or retiring entertainers – on the contrary, they are the Freddie Mercury, Billy Joel, David Bowie and Alice Coopers of their craft, glamorous, flamboyant, unique people who throw their heart and soul into the performance. They make an impression that leaves a lasting legacy and is often remembered for its mastery of the visual or colourful and dramatic side of the craft they work in, the spectacle. In those drawn to politics there is skill at directing attention and at crafting mature roles and outfits to inhabit or hide behind, perhaps even to lose ones own identity in. There is no easy rise to fame and fortune for these people, however, their journeys instead are one of hard work and overcoming obstacles through the application of willpower and spirit, guts and determination. Even these legendary entertainers and extroverts probably hide within them the core insecurity of Saturn in Leo, that of being scrutinised by others in light of one’s own already strict self scrutiny. They suggest that by mastering the insecurity and the fear of adulation, titanic creativity is unlocked and connection to muses with lasting appeal are made. So there are both shy wallflowers and exuberant masters of the art in this tribe, legendary entertainers and those who feel like dying when the attention turns upon them. Our culture has a bias towards favouring the extrovert and so it itself often fails to appreciate the value of those in the Saturn in Leo crowd who tremble at the spotlight. It’s seen as a flaw rather than an acceptable and necessary nature, which is so often what it is, even if it is just a learning device to teach this clan how to express their inner light to others without holding back. The pressure is therefore placed upon them to take that spotlight by their parents and those who want to push them into a more confident stance, but the trouble is this attitude achieves exactly the opposite effect.

Leo is a sign given to great courage, strength and force of charisma, presence, command of respect, an eternally sunny outlook and drama. It is the sign that in the mundane world equates to actors and performers of all kinds, comedians, monarchs, charismatic leaders, cats, gold and the physical organ of the heart. Given that Saturn represents a rigid area of our awareness where there are too many rules and binding self imposed restrictions, Saturn in Leo represents a struggle with any and all of these areas. The tribe become attractors for what we repress and inhibit, magnets for our fears, which they then emanate visibly.


Fundamentally there is pride and a lack of ability to really let go and relax in life, an inhibition or fear related to just expressing who we are, and/or a controlling and domineering will that needs to let go of vain conceits. The tribe as a whole is typically terrified of being put in the spotlight and shirks away from attention to the point of extremity, even with the outstanding masters of the arts of performance among them. Many individuals in this cohort feel that they are dull, uninteresting or in some way doomed to remain unpopular even though they crave the attention it creates, and they overcompensate by trying to impress anyone they perceive to be an authority. A repressed hunger for fame, applause, recognition and praise masquerades as genuine respect for people in power. Father issues often underly a sense of being unworthy – the father figures may always be pushing the tribe into that spotlight in response to the reluctance to seek it, and end up crippling a child’s self confidence as a consequence.

A common trait in those with Saturn in Leo is a sense of unwavering commitment that somehow completely falters when real courage is called for in front of spectators. Actors call this stage fright, but that’s just one symptom. People in this cohort find that life seems to continually call on them for further and further tests of courage, sapping it slowly so that they feel there will be no end to the struggles. The draining occurs because the individual is focused externally, Leo being a sign enchanted by external attention, so that in reality what is happening is that the individual is continually looking outward for validation experiences which harden and forge their courage, but they often end up discouraging themselves because they set themselves up for failure by never recognising their inner light for themselves, no matter who else appreciates it. The rigid inner rules choke off any sense of lasting external recognition or achievement. The fact that ‘sceptre and crown must tumble down’ becomes too bitter a pill to swallow. Their inner light seeks expression in the outer world as a heroic force, a brave and courageous but responsible individual, and so it quests for challenges which will allow it to demonstrate its prowess and command over its own fate. Saturn, however, has other ideas and a different definition of the heroic – the task is not to achieve heroic deeds and be remembered for all time for them, it is to travel a path that hones and crystallises the inner light of the spirit through creative acts that reach out to others, an entirely generous and radiant sharing expression of the inner light that does not reference external responses for its sense of achievement but is instead guided only by the need to express the inner light as brilliantly and beautifully as possible, broken hearts and all, with an integrity that does justice to human dignity. Such deeds blossom in the dust of our bones, they empower fate to continue to shine our light beyond even our mortal death. They set karmic forces in motion that shine through into our future incarnations and continue to illuminate others through our past ones.

In essence the task is to speak, sing, dance and smile with integrity and respect for life, from the heart, and to have no fear of ridicule, ostracism, rejection or unpopularity because you are simply involved in the joy of sharing who you are with respect for the integrity of others. The only approval you need is your own; you have to live with yourself and all your failings, so only you are fit to judge. Taking you here one step at a time is part of the ‘end game’ of Saturn in Leo, the point at which understanding begins to truly dawn and the most fundamental lessons of life begin to crystallise for the clan.


When this process goes wrong they become brittle and dour, clinging to a rigid pride and a lack of cheer that can lead to chronic heart conditions. Any fame they attain can become a choking prison of indentured slavery to the expectations of others, contractual obligations strangle control of their lives, the ego adopts an attitude of authoritarian self importance that inflexibly dominates the people who truly care, keeping them at bay with meaningless rules, and over time petrifying and ossifying superiority and inferiority complexes develop, there is persistent and growing worry about how getting old is affecting good looks or health and this worry ages even further because it extinguishes some more of that initial spark and lustre for life they had. Such people might feel that no matter all their hard effort at winning people over they do not receive the recognition they crave and feel they deserve and perhaps even end up with a bad reputation, notoriety or scandal in return. Perhaps they actually do abuse their authority or power in some way and suffer the natural consequences. Whatever the actual outcome is, the problem is likely to be that at some point in the past these individuals stopped expressing themselves with spontaneous creativity and became ‘hooked’ on some kind of external recognition. The call for them to show courage in the face of challenge becomes harder as the bravery in their spirit drains away because by choosing to measure our success in life in this way we must continually look for a thing to prove about ourselves.

In some cases the character is inclined to subservience and meekness bordering on or surpassing self-imposed slavery – this is often the case when there is a heavy emphasis on Water signs elsewhere in the chart, and far less when the Fire Element is dominant. When the Fire Element is dominant the ego is repeatedly drained and crushed by the battles it creates for itself in the name of a daunting but often self important quest – they often struggle to hold a natural core of pessimism at bay behind a firewall of false cheer and optimism. Those of Saturn in Leo who favour the Earth Element will tend to be even more rigid and inflexible and somewhat on the domineering side, while those who favour Air struggle with cogitating abstractions and half formed fascinations that sap the clarity and glory out of life and leave a hollow sense of attainment, especially for those who hail heavily from Aquarius.

Creative power is subjected to a need for slow, sometimes arduous but always disciplined craftsmanship. In pursuit of any artistic expression you must master the forms and techniques before the creative juices begin to flow. Saturn is making sure here that your journey involves more than just a race to the cheers and appreciative applause at the finish line – because it will be empty until you are a champion to yourself regardless of their response – but is instead much more about the skills you acquire in the process of becoming a champion at what you do, and with Saturn the potential for this is truly long lasting, meaning our attainments can become legendary. Note that this does not necessarily mean that what we can become legendarily skilled at will be used wisely – the legendary, hypnotic charisma and crowd control of Adolf Hitler being a good case in point.


For generally smooth and easy-going alliances a Saturn in Leo tribe can look to members of Saturn in Aries (most recently born in 1967-1969 and 1996-1998) and Saturn in Sagittarius (most recently born in 1985-1988 and 2014 – 2017 or present day) as well as Saturn in Gemini (most recently born in 1971-1974 and 2000-2003) and Saturn in Libra (most recently born in 1980-1983 and 2009-2012). They typically experience clashes with the tribes of Saturn in Taurus (most recently born in 1969-1972 and 1998-2001), Saturn in Scorpio (most recently born in 1982-1985 and 2012-2015) and Saturn in Aquarius (most recently born in 1962-1964 and 1991-1994). With the other Fire signs there is controlled direction of consistent motivation and with the two Air signs of Gemini and Libra there is creative and intellectual rapport that stimulates and refreshes each of the Saturnine agendas. With the other Stable or Fixed signs there is intransigence, an inability to budge and a stubborn refusal to back down that actually obscures failures and thereby denies Saturn his rightful teaching tool. This frustrates him and puffs him up with pride and righteousness. As far as the Leo tribe is concerned they often feel unable to win over crowds of the other Fixed tribes and this can sew resentment, bitterness envy and jealousy, as well as a healthy competitive drive.

Karmically, Saturn in Leo can have many different forms. It could be that you are karmically fated to experience a scandal or a lack of respect from those in power, that you have to throw off a bad reputation, deserved or not, that you have to make yourself a servant of someone else – someone extremely powerful or commanding – or that you have to rule a position of power wisely. It could also mean that you have creative blocks carried over from past experiences, a pervading sense of the tragedy of life, a lack of confidence in the outcome of expressing your own nature to others or a blindness that makes life seem dim, lacking in colour or cheerless. The fear of being in the spotlight is widespread and takes many forms in this tribe. Other examples of typical karmic situations resonant with Saturn in Leo involve being accused and found guilty of treason or sedition of the state, becoming the victim of a tyrannical ruler, struggling with the suppression and consequences of a feral killer or predatory instinct, being ‘let down’ by those who formerly promised much, being afraid or reluctant to take up the spotlight or conversely refusing to give it up. These elements can be in the karmic background of this tribe, shaping its form today.

The inner voice of Saturn within you tells you that you are unworthy of praise or even of attention. There is guilt, shame, fear and self negation in the collective response of the tribe. This voice needs to be listened to, not utterly shunned, because it is able to teach you why you feel this way and thus remove a major block to success in life. Look at your repressed needs to be a leader and your needs for recognition, understanding that there is a genuine need there but also that you have to mine it out from what you have turned it into. You actually do have to attain something important to you when Saturn is in Leo, often by gathering your courage and stepping into the spotlight when the moment comes, regardless of what might be holding you back, and you often have to take that challenge not so seriously but instead relax more and have fun so that the essence of your inner light and its experience can shine.

The path to gaining the respect and honour such a Saturn requires is therefore found in first ‘lightening up’ and then ‘lighting up’ without fear or restraint. The detriment of Saturn in Leo is that he is being asked to perform and treat life as entertainment – something he does not find within the sobriety of his essential nature – but as with all his tasks he takes this challenge from Leo seriously…too seriously, thus missing the point. Only by relaxing more and embracing life for the fun of it – like a child – can the stage deliver him what he secretly craves but denies himself. Then, his inferiority-superiority complex transforms into spiritual integrity, the guiding of the life of the spirit by natural and spiritual laws, and thus into wisdom that he can share, but only because he has learned to laugh at himself and his own insignificance, keeping it in balance with his own precious uniqueness, and because she has found a way to show her inner performer to an audience that can appreciate it in the appropriate way.

With Saturn in Leo, the spiritual test is often in finding the right balance between self inhibiting fears and self created but ultimately otherwise unnecessary lessons. Saturn circumscribes our existence within a boundary, a ring which we may not pass, but only so that we can fulfill our karmic duty to ourselves. When we accept and commit ourselves to fulfill this karmic duty we rise to meet Saturn in its own sphere, and understanding dawns. We see that all human suffering, pain, and limitation is a self chosen learning device, chosen so that pain and fear of life itself can be transcended from within the physical dimension. We see that there is an order and that a Divine Intelligence, terrible though it may be at times to behold, ensures that the precepts of karma are lawfully carried out in each and every time and place. It is uniquely applied to all individual beings in an infinite and eternal act of Creativity.

The fear of ones own creative power is a fear of ones own creativity and thus a fear of ones own creations. Whilst facing our fears and limitations may naturally seem to cripple us, it does so only temporarily and eventually serves to liberate us from our own restrictive needs. With Saturn in Leo, those fears and restrictive needs are concentrated on the radiation of self and its individual empathy, a situation initially experienced as a need to be admired for something honourable and respectable or noble but which is a superficial testing zone in which our mettle is being matured and fired up. We all need to be loved by our fellow people, but this is something Saturn in Leo finds hard to live with.

More fundamentally there is a lack of understanding how to radiate the essence of self to or with others (including other things, so the situation is not limited to just being about other people) and a dulling of the awareness of the consequences or effect our presence has on others and throughout our environment. The tribe need to understand individual boundaries, the concrete impact and consequences of their presence and how to deal with authority figures not from a position of weakness in hungering for approval but by gathering greater self confidence and esteem and radiating their inner light without fear of the consequences of its limitations.

Together they are likely to be far too strict with themselves and others as a result of holding back in general, and need to loosen up and treat life more optimistically and joyously. In addition, deny it though they may, the tribe feel that life should be filled with more pleasure and fun, that all needs for human comfort and beauty and peace should be met, and many times it seems to them that they are not but they just have to settle for a lesser reality. It is, as with all things, a matter of perception. We can elect to change all things that hurt, and this can bring them into the light. Seeing the world as a place where the spirit can let down its shield and just enjoy what happens when it is being itself and sharing it with others is the titanic struggle the life of this tribe leads them into, until the moment comes when the individual can accept that they are as worthy as any other – and at the same time no more worthy.

As John Shirley beautifully said, the actions of the just blossom even in their dust.


Here is a large selection of people with Saturn in Leo, with some individuals in bold type to indicate that their Saturn is in conjunction with a Sun, Moon and/or ascendant in Leo.

Jon Pertwee, Roger Delgado, Arthur C. Clarke, Indira Gandhi, Ferdinand Marcos, Jack Palance, John Lee Hooker, François Mitterrand, Leon Day, Walter Cronkite, Reg Smythe, (English cartoonist, ‘Andy Capp’), Robert Mitchum, J. D. Salinger, Caspar Weinberger, Thelonious Monk, Dizzy Gillespie, Ray Charles, Nat King Cole, Eva Perón, Rita Hayworth, Joan Fontaine, Adolf Hitler, Mickey Spillane, Liberace, Gamal Abdel Nasser, Nicolae Ceaușescu, Kathleen Battle, Betty Ford, Spike Milligan, Ingmar Bergman, Brian Eno, Nelson Mandela, Leonard Bernstein, Billy Graham, Sir Edmund Hillary, Bill Clinton, Rollie Fingers, Mark Snow, Freddie Mercury, Tommy Lee Jones, Oliver Stone, Susan Sarandon, Sally Field, Terence McKenna, Steven Spielberg, Steve Biko, Uri Geller, José Carreras, David Bowie, Billy Joel, Glenn Close, Elton John, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tom Clancy, Stephen King, Tanith Lee, John Carpenter, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Elaine Paige, Meat Loaf, Ian Anderson, Alice Cooper, Shakin’ Stevens, Robert Plant, Grace Jones, Marc Bolan, Kevin Kline, Richard Dreyfuss, Hillary Clinton, Kathy Bates, Jessica Lange, Dilma Rousseff, Barbara Hershey, Zoë Wanamaker, Al Gore, Terry Pratchett, Billy Crystal, Jeremy Corbyn, Sean Lennon, Mayim Bialik, Tiger Woods, Fred Savage, Benedict Cumberbatch, Dominic Monaghan, Orlando Bloom, Michael Fassbender, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Zachary Quinto, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jensen Ackles, James Franco, Josh Hartnett.

4 comments on “Blossoms in the Dust: Saturn in Leo

  1. Hello! Wishing a magical year to all of us 🙂

    I have Saturn in Aquarius in opposition with Mercury/Chiron in Leo.

    I think it expresses itself through my fear of being in the spotlight in a group of people without being ‘mentally prepared’, prepared to express my ideas in the noblest way, to say the right words or to be entertaining, funny…

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